Put your feet up (literally!) and catch a break with
Whenever our family of four needs to take a long haul flight, the OCD mama in me begins planning months in advance. I’m a huge fan of making lists from what to pack, where to eat when we get to the destination (I mean, priorities, right?!) and the mother of all lists that gives me the most anxiety… strategies on how to get the kids to sleep throughout the entire flight (a mama can dream…).
I definitely feel like I have the “how to keep your kids occupied on a flight” down pat, it’s the sleeping that really knocks me out (pun intended). From our previous flights home to Toronto (16 hours, people!), we’ve had DEFCON four meltdowns, tantrums to win every tantrum competition and just your good ol’ ear piercing screams when everyone else on the flight is trying to get some shut-eye. The main culprit and reason behind these toddler meltdowns? Pure fatigue and trying to get comfortable on the flight when there really is no “comfy” position.
When I was introduced to the Fly-Tot and looked up their website, I literally hugged my computer screen and exclaimed WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN MY WHOLE LIFE?! The whole concept sounds like an absolute dream. The Fly-Tot is essentially an inflatable cushion that fits in the space between your seat and the seat in front of you to allow your little ones to lay flat on a regular economy seat.
When deflated, the Fly-Tot rolls up into a nice small package. It comes with plastic tubing and a foot pump that has an elastic strap attached to keep things compact. The items fit perfectly in a backpack or your carry-on luggage. At first glance, I thought the foot pump was a bit clunky, but when I saw how quickly it took to inflate the cushion, I immediately retracted those thoughts!
This past summer, we made plans to head back to Toronto again. Having been scarred by our previous long haul flight, we knew we had to give the Fly-Tot a chance. Our flight to Canada left Hong Kong early evening which is the sweet spot time for those travelling with littles. After dinner on board and one last movie, I told my toddler that it would be time for bed just as if we were at home.
My husband pumped the cushion up in under a minute and we tucked the Fly-Tot in the gap between Aiden’s seat and the one in front of him. We had brought his favourite pillow and sleeping toy – I also bought an eye mask to shield him from the cabin light. With all his gear at hand, he laid down. He’s tall for his age, but was still able to curl up, with a wide grin on his face (due to the novelty and most likely comfort!), laid his head down and quickly fell asleep. We had his seatbelt strapped the entire time and, like a true miracle, he slept like a baby until it was an hour to landing.
Having the opportunity to lay completely flat made all the difference. I was even able to prop my feet up and share the cushion which helped my own sleep too. But to be honest, knowing that my toddler was sound asleep was reason enough for me to sleep comfortably too.
Mamas, this is honestly one of the best flying tools we’ve used! What’s more, Fly-Tot is giving away one Fly-Tot for a lucky reader! Simply fill in the form below with your details.
Good luck and bon voyage!